Today marks 17 years (23.10.2002 – 2021) that Queen Mother Geraldine passed away, at the age of 87 as a result of a serious lung disease.
I had the great fortune to know him closely from distant Johannesburg and until he closed his eyes in Tirana. With all my sincerity, I say that he is the most special person I have met in my life, leaving me with an extraordinary impression of the human love he had for Albanians and Albania, which he loved with all his heart and respected all his life.
Countess Geraldine, not simply as a Queen but with her love, beauty and humanism, quickly became a beloved figure and symbol for the Albanian people.
During the one-year reign and 63 years in forced exile, she devoted all her time, prayers and hopes only to Albania. Mother Geraldine wanted to see this country again and she used to say to me every time I met her, “Ahh my son, Albania is my country and my husband – King Zog. I live in every moment with Albania because it has given me this name, which I keep as the greatest treasure of my life. I pray to God to give me life until I return to Albania and die there as an Albanian and among the Albanian people “.
The Lord fulfilled this prayer and on June 22, 2002, She and the entire Royal Family returned to the Homeland. Very excited by the magnificent reception in Rinas and all the way to Tirana, as soon as she arrived at the residence where the Royal Family was accommodated, as a devout believer she was, praying to the Almighty God, she said “… now I am calm …”.
The return of the Royal Family to the homeland was also a noble message to Albanians, that it is possible to love your homeland even when it is poor and difficult to live.
May the memory of Queen Mother Geraldine be eternal.